To eliminate all possible sources of errors, we used clean Windows 7 installations with no drivers or updates installed, except for the Windows 7 updates.
In the Device Manager->System section, we selected "AMD PCI Express (3GIO) Driver," where we found the files atipcie.sys (x86) or atipcie64.sys (x64). These are the default drivers. We noted the installed driver version before proceeding.
We then unpacked the current version of Catalyst into the suggested directory and started the installation, pausing at the initial choice of either installing or uninstalling the driver.
We had to choose "Uninstall" and then "Custom Uninstall" to check whether any components were recognized by the installer. The result confirmed what we were expecting based on the described symptoms: Catalyst did not recognize any installed components, even though the driver was already installed by Windows 7 and Windows Update had been run.
After starting the installation again, we chose "Installation" and then "Custom Installation."
In addition to the USB drivers, we were offered the option of installing the northbridge drivers. Interestingly, the version offered was the same as the one already installed. We chose to install the drivers anyway to avoid confusion. The installation completed successfully.
After the mandatory reboot, we opened the Catalyst installer again to check the options for uninstalling the drivers.
Except for the USB drivers, no other components are displayed. When we switched over to the installation routine, where the driver was suggested for installation once more, nothing indicated that it was already installed!
Even if you only notice this issue when using the Custom installation mode (Express mode reveals little information about the installation process), we can understand being confused. Let’s set out to find the cause and a possible solution.